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There are times in our lives when there is a great deal of hurt. It is from others (friends and family) or illness, or loneliness. There are lots of reasons. And in it, right in the middle of the “eye of the storm” we wonder: Why?

It is hard to imagine the answer to that. And for each why there is likely a different and varied answer. Often people will wonder why does God allow all this? Why is there death and mayhem in so many parts of the world? There is no one answer. And I don’t think anyone would hazard a guess for all of the questions and situations we find ourselves in.

But what comes to mind for me is the image of Jesus asleep in the stern of the boat on the Sea of Galilee. He slept peacefully while his disciples panicked about the storm that they would all be lost. “But Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him and said, “Teacher, don’t You care that we are perishing?” Then Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the sea. “Silence!” He commanded. “Be still!” And the wind died down, and it was perfectly calm.…” (Mk 4, 38-39) It was hard for the disciples to see beyond the immediate need, the storm that would drown them all. They forgot the most precious passenger in the boat who was Emmanuel (God-With-Us).

It is very easy in our world of trials to forget that God is there in the midst of the storm. We are caught up in the moment, even if that moment is months or years long. We need to remember that we are God’s own and he will not abandon us. “Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Dt 31, 6)

I write this not to lecture, but for me as well. There are many times darkness seems to come  down over us. But we need always to remember these passages and know that we are not alone and we are not facing the trials alone. Pray for one another in those difficult times. Pray for me as I pray for you. We serve a mighty God. Trust Him.


Father of Mercies

Have you really listened when the words of absolution are pronounced? What a wonderful thing to hear right at the beginning “God, the Father of Mercies…” Is that not something to really be truly appreciated and heard as blessed words of hope? Is not then the work of the Confessional a work of great love from God. Should we not see this as one of the greatest works of God for His fallen creation?

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The Next Time Through

I discovered two deaths this year. That may surprise you knowing I am a priest and have frequent funerals for parishioners and others who I am asked to commemorate. But this year I was looking on line for a friend and found her obituary. I was stunned and cried. She was so beautiful, had two little girls, husband, served in The Salvation Army with me where we met. We studied at university together and had part-time jobs together.

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